Release Notes: Follow-up dates for Notes; Check-in system uses; Reports for contributions and groups

Monday, June 13, 2011 2:53:00 PM Categories: New Features Tips 4 Clients
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Here's the text from the email on release notes we sent out today:

I am glad to share that Churchteams continues to grow and we have great plans for new features in the coming months. Thank you so much for your referrals and for being part of this business/ministry hybrid serving the Kingdom.  We take that seriously and constantly work to add value to the service we provide.  Here are some updates and ideas.  You'll notice a lot of these relate to areas other than small groups.  So, if you're thinking at all about a web-based solution to Church Management, please join me for a church management webinar.  I think you'll like what we're doing.

Follow up date for Notes - So no one falls through the cracks
Several months ago we decided to transition our company's CRM to an account within Churchteams.  Our small group service was developed while I used the tool every day as a pastor.  So, why not sharpen the CRM side of what we do by using it ourselves?  Quickly I saw a need to add a follow up date to the notes feature.  First create or edit a note type (customization features, customize groupfinder) like "guest" or "shepherding".  Next create a group for that process, say "New Members" or "Ready to Serve".  Then customize a group view (customization features, customize groupfinder) to include the note and make that the default view for the group.  You'll see that the follow up date related to the note automatically shows up for this view. This group is now a pool to collect and a dashboard to keep up with people.  Set it up to sort by the "Follow-up" date and the tool will help you make sure no one falls through the cracks.
Check in system - not just for kids
  • Many of you have started to use our kids check-in system.  While it may not have every last bell and whistle yet, the system is working well and is a great value (fully included in your Churchteams subscription with unlimited check-in stations.  30-50 kids per station per 15 minute check-in period seems to be the norm for us as with other check-in systems.
  • Those churches doing worship attendance are using the same feature for quick data entry of worship attenders on Monday morning.  Some are looking at adding check-in stations for those without kids as well.  Great for events too.
  • Student ministries are using the system to check-in students.  They just click the tag button to print out the student's name rather than the label button with the security code.  The same works for volunteer check-in.
  • Children's ministries, be sure to check out the reports under groups to help you identify kids who've stopped coming.
Contributions - Batch entry update and giving stats (like first time givers)
  • One of the overlooked features of our batch entry feature is the space bar assist for entering contribution amounts.  Hitting the space bar allows you to see the 5 most recent gifts for that person and select one that might match the current gift.  This is one of many built-in features to speed data entry.  One church we talked with uses a scanner and enters just under 100 checks per hour.  We researched and found the norm using our system was about 120 per hour.
  • When logged in as the membership administration, go to member reports and you will see a filter in the bottom section entitled "contribution history".  This allows you to identify first time givers over any time range.  It also allows you to identify people's most recent gifts over any time range.  A great help for finding contribution statistics.  
  • Watch for online giving and even more contribution features in the upcoming months.
Reports to help with groups - Who joined or left a group?  Who hasn't been there for a few weeks? Help for leaders.
  • Go to group reports and you'll notice a new "Group Membership Change" output option.  This allows you to see who joined and/or who left any type of group you choose over any time period.  It helps you drill down in one place to see group changes.  
  • Go to member reports and you'll notice a new "Attendance Delinquency" filter (bottom part).  This report allows you to list, email, etc. those who have not attended a group in however many weeks you choose.  Be sure to also select to filter by people in that same group or group type.
  • Underneath the list of members on any Group Info page, there is now a report labelled "Membership Consistency" that pulls an attendance report for the group for the previous 9 weeks. This gives your leaders quick access to the information they need about their group.  
Serving you better
We have always had a high value for customer service.  About 3 months ago we upgraded the look and information on our website.  About 2 months ago we launched an email system to follow up with customers at key benchmarks.  These are brief, one click response emails to let us know how you're doing.  About a month ago, we edited and update the FAQs.  Then, just last week we edited and updated the Advanced Settings page (Group Admin main menu) to make it more useful.  Besides these and the video helps, we're always available by webinar, email, phone or Facebook.